I was away for a few days, so naturally the license DELUGE hit. As such, let me ask you to turn to A Case Suitable for Treatment, for the very last in news. :) Let’s see what 17 million titles are coming out soon, however, and talk about them a bit.
First the non-Yen stuff. Seven Seas has three more Alice spinoffs coming, featuring, I believe, Gray, Elliot, and the Twins. They sell well, and there are PILES of the things, so I see no reason why Seven Seas shouldn’t license them till they run out.
Dark Horse just announced today the license of Fate/Zero, the prequel to Fate/Stay Night that runs in Kadokawa’s Young Ace. It’s based on a couple of light novels that tell the story of the ‘fourth Holy grail War’. I admit I didn’t read F/SN when Tokyopop was putting it out, but it’s certainly quite popular, and Fate/Zero seems to be the most respected of the side projects.
Now it’s time for Yen Press. On the manga front, a big recent license is the Karneval manga from Ichijinsha’s Comic Zero-Sum. There’s over a dozen volumes to date, and it’s been a highly discussed series. Featuring two innocents on the run from forces beyond their control who end up with a defense organization called Circus, it’s the sort of title that defines the words ‘fantasy manga for young women’ and should sell like hotcakes.
There’s more Madoka Magica manga, as we get Orico Magica’s side story which posits a different meeting between its leads, which I’m sure will lead to puppies and rainbows instead of tragedy; and Tart Magica, which features Jeanne D’Arc and three fellow pseudo-historical young women as magical girls in the 15th century, thus showing that Kyubey can ruin EVERYTHING.
And on the Disney front, sort of, we have Big Hero 6, which just debuted in Kodansha’s Magazine Special. Based on the film due out this November, it looks to be geared towards the younger set, and is a rare Kodansha license from this publisher.
Now let’s talk light novels. I’d mentioned that I thought Yen was pursuing a surprisingly aggressive approach to the new Yen On line, and it’s clear that if anything I was underestimating it. Kurt says they’re going to go even further next year, with over 2 dozen books out in 2015 alone, from a variety of series. Sword Art Online sold quite well, and has I expect inspired the licensing of the Progressive novels that will debut in April.
I have whined on Twitter about the lack of ebooks for SAO and the upcoming Index novels, and I suspect judging from Kurt’s response in the interview that this is not something that will be changing anytime soon. It seems to be the Japanese side more than our side, as Yen says that they make an effort to get them when they’re available. So perhaps I should whine at ASCII Mediaworks instead.
As for the new LN series announced, we have four. The first, Log Horizon, has a plot that may seem familiar to fans of Sword Art Online, as it also has a large group of MMORPG gamers who find themselves trapped in a virtual world. Log Horizon seems to have a broader focus, however, and less romance/harem/fanservice elements than SAO does. Yen has also licensed the manga, though we’re not sure yet which manga they have – there are three possibilities, all from different companies. The novel is from Enterbrain, who also do Book Girl, so I’m hoping for ebooks here.
Speaking of fanservices, No Game No Life seems to be the most ‘otaku-oriented’ title that was licensed in this batch. It’s from Media Factory, and involves (try not to contain your shock), an MMORPG. A brother/sister gaming team, who in real life are basically shut-ins, are transported to a fantasy world where they have to use their amazing gaming skills to save humanity.
The Devil Is A Part-Timer!, aka Hataraku Maou-sama!, is a Dengeki Bunko title (i.e., the SAO/Index company). It sounds like the funniest of the new series, as Satan and his lieutenant are on Earth and powerless, and must find work while scheming to regain their powers. To make things worse, the woman who defeated them in the first place is back to finish the job. Luckily, she’s lost her powers as well. This has fantasy elements in it, but the mere fact that it doesn’t involve an MMORPG makes it the most intriguing of these titles for me.
Lastly, for fans of Pandora Hearts, Yen is putting out the novels which contain side stories from the main manga, which are titled Caucus Race. These are also, I believe, from Square Enix.
Judging by their interview, Yen isn’t done yet, and I suspect we’ll have a few more light novels announced at NYCC. Which unlicensed title do you most want? You are not allowed to say Baccano!. Or Durarara!!. Or indeed any title by Narita. But other than those?